Andrew Martin

Journalist and novelist Andrew Martin is the author of the 'Jim Stringer' series of novels based around railways. He has written for the Independent on Sunday, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman among others.

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Why ‘Dad’s Army’ still makes us laugh

For all their fractiousness, they really are all in it together

Bonfire Night is our annual celebration of folk justice and this year's Fawkes is Lance Armstrong

In an increasing number of communities, Guy Fawkes has been sidelined in favour of a more topical victim - but where to locate a solid liberal perspective in this anarchy?

The Rolling Stones in the early days

Andrew Martin: Against the odds, the Rolling Stones have turned into role models

Those of us born in the year and month of the Rolling Stones' first gig (July 1962) tend to feel we somehow exist in a spin-off from their energy field. But surely even those not so closely tied in to their odyssey would welcome the almost-official news that they will be playing gigs in London and New York in November (this on top of rumours of a new album).

Tranquillity: St Giles, Imber, Wiltshire, a place of worship since the 13th century

Andrew Martin: I have a confession to make - I go to church

Our writer applauds a new report that says religion makes people happier, denies that religion is irrational, and wonders why his friends are so resistant to it

Taking the waters: Bottle-huggers Natalie Portman and Robert Pattinson

Andrew Martin: A nice cup of tea beats bottled water every time

The unnecessary accessory we began to eschew is trickling back into favour. Our writer tries to understand the appeal of fashionable plastic

Those were the days: The Seventies used to hum with the sound of men and their power tools

Andrew Martin: Real men carry power tools - or they used to

Falling house prices and the loss of a make-do-and-mend attitude have done for DIY. But our writer misses the sound of Sunday-morning sawing

Andrew Martin: We're so afraid of dying, we don't dare live

Our writer was a swot, but even his boyhood was reckless

Andrew Martin: I'd let the French run our trains

Their approach to railways is at once hard-headed and romantic
Mars has shrunk its bars, but what will it do with the Duo?

Giant snacks – meant for two, eaten by one

Andrew Martin chooses the smaller bar – and no sharing

Andrew Martin: You're being mean-spirited over term time holidays, Mr Gove

It was mesmerising when a boy in my class was given time off 'to help with the harvest'

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